Help police to find these thugs as soon as possible

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Who would be a taxi driver these days? They’ve probably all got tales of customers who refuse to pay, get aggressive or make a mess in the car.

Some people may shrug their shoulders and say that it comes with the territory.

When you let a complete stranger into your car, often late at night when they’re worse for wear, there’s the potential for things to go wrong.

But the sort of hassles that many drivers put up with on a regular basis do not compare with what happened to Ajman Ali.

Understandably, taxi officials are now demanding action against two men who attacked and robbed him and left him covered in blood when he refused to drive them.

The 62-year-old was repeatedly punched in the face and was left with a fractured nose when he returned home to Southsea after an 11-hour shift.

It must have been very frightening. As he says: ‘I didn’t feel safe and I was worried that I could have been killed.’

After badly beating him up, the men stole his e-cigarette machine and about £10 and ran away.

Taxi drivers in the city are now fearful that they might be next.

Hackney driver Forhad Mahmud explains: ‘Someone could follow me and I could be attacked. It’s very scary.’

Portsmouth hackney carriage trade representative Chris Dixon has asked drivers to be more vigilant. But the problem is that they work alone, often in the small hours, and are vulnerable to attack.

We trust the police will leave no stone unturned in their attempts to track down the thugs who set upon Mr Ali. They should end up behind bars for such a vicious and totally unprovoked assault.

But we also urge anybody out there who knows who they are to come forward and call police on 101, quoting 44160418149.

These men need to be arrested, charged and dealt with as soon as possible to show others that such behaviour is totally unacceptable.

In the meantime, taxi drivers across the area need to watch their backs.